The LORDS Prayer (Mark 32-36)
The Lord's Prayer
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (06/14/98)
Introduction: In Luke 11:1 the discples said "Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples".
If we would learn to pray there is none better example than that of the Lord Jesus. Jesus' prayer life was one of unbroken intimate communion with the Father.
Many times through the gospels we find him in prayer. He prayed on mountainsides, in ships, and in a lonely garden. He prayed for heartbroken individuals and wept over an entire city.
His prayer in John 17 is the longest prayer of Christ's recorded in Scripture., not to be confused with the prayer in our text (in John 17 He was on the Mount of Olives in Mk.14 He prays in Gethsemane), The shorter prayer from our text is perhaps His most well known. (See also Matt. 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46)
The Place of His Prayer
Jesus crossed the brook Kedron from the Mount of Olives with His disciples and came to a small garden or "farm" known as Gethsemane meaning "an oil press".
That name is significant for here Jesus was pressed in prayer to the point of death.
This was a familiar spot to which Jesus and His disciples resorted often.
A garden blessed with the comforting shade of olive and fig trees should be remembered for the rest and repose it offers, but this one; this Gethsemane is remembered for it's agony.
The Agony of His Prayer
Upon entering the garden Jesus asked His disciples to wait while He went to pray.
Only Peter, James and John went further with Him.
But, as he pressed on vs.33 tells us He began to be sore amazed and to be very heavy.
Sore amazed in the original language means to throw into terror; to alarm thoroughly; to terrify.
Very heavy is one word in the Greek - adhmonhw it means to be troubled; in great distress or anguish; depressed. Of the three Greek words in the NT for depression this is the strongest.
So Jesus is now both terrified and heavy with depression and speaks to His disciples in vs.34 "My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch". In other words Jesus is so overcome with sorrow and His Spirit so heavy that it could cause Him to die.
Jesus asked His disciple to "tarry and watch", then going further Jesus' anguish became more than he could handle physically and He collapsed and fell on the ground.
We are told in Luke's gospel that "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" Luke 22:44.
None of us have ever known the agony that Jesus knew in Gethsemane. Indeed none of us will ever know it as Jesus knew it.
Most of us have never even known the agony of the Apostle Paul in prayer. Col. 2:1-2 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
The word conflict here is from the same Greek word as agony in Luke 22:44. It is agwnia - it denotes intense emotion, severe emotional strain and anguish.
Regarding prayer it brings us to the realization that prayer is often not a picnic but an intense conflict, a spiritual battle. Rom. 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
I am not suggesting that every time we pray we ought to experience this agony and anguish of soul, however there are far more believers who know little or nothing of this kind of praying, than there are who know too much.
The Loneliness of His Prayer
Each time that Jesus returned to where He had left His disciples in the garden, He found them sleeping. After the first incidence He said to Peter, "couldest not thou watch one hour?". Vs.37
Why did He first single Peter out? (See conversation of vs.27-31)
Jesus left the disciples again and prayed the same prayer a second and then a third time. Read vs. 37-42
Each time upon returning he found the disciples sleeping (Discuss)
The place of prayer is a place of loneliness. Two truths need to come to light here.
1. The Reality of Loneliness in Prayer.
Only eleven came to the Garden; only three went on further and they stayed behind to watch and pray as Jesus entered His place of agony and sorrow.
I'm careful not to suggest that we can enter into the mystery of Gethsemane with Jesus.
We sing "I'll go with Him through the Garden", I'm sorry, I believe that was a place only Jesus could go.
However, when we become serious about prayer we will find it is a lonely place.
Few go to the place of prayer; fewer still to the closet of agony.
2. The Neccessity of Loneliness in Prayer.
Loneliness in prayer is not only a reality it is a neccessity. God is more accessible through and honored by private petitions, than He is by public prayer.
Read Matthew 6:1-6
The Content of His Prayer
Vs. 35 contains the prayer in narrative or summary form while vs.36 quotes a portion of the prayer.
Although Jesus prayed for at least an hour on the first of three occasions this is all that is recorded of His prayer.
Even though it was His bitterest hour and He was in dire anguish of soul, Jesus addressed the Father with endearing terms.
Abba is the cry of a little child, it is the equivalent of our English "daddy".
There is comfort in knowing that we can approach the Father in this same manner.
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
The great difference between a believer's use of these words and Jesus is that He who had known intimate fellowship with the Father since time immemorial, since eternity past,was about to know separation for the first time.
While we who were once ungrateful sinners with no desire for fellowship with God, now may speak these endearing words knowing He will never leave us nor forsake us.
"Take away this cup from me"
The cup of course was a cup of suffering.
It was the cup He spoke of in Matthew 20:20-23
In His humanity Jesus had no desire to drink the bitter dregs of that cup. But, doing the Father's will was first for Jesus. It came before any dislike of suffering.
The cup also speaks of God's wrath poured out upon man's sin. Aren't you glad that Jesus was willing to take upon Himself that wrath?
Gal. 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
II Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1 Pet 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Read Hebrews 5:7-8
"Not what I will, but what thou wilt"
Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.